I’m not going to lie; I’ve got to give Bronson the credit for this one. We were discussing dinner options one evening in December and suddenly, he said, “What about taquitos?”.
The only experience that I’d ever had with taquitos was once at summer camp, when the cook ran out of actual food for dinner and brought out those tiny, perfectly rolled frozen taquitos. I honestly didn’t think that they were an actual Mexican dish, just some food that Americans created to attribute to another culture – like “Chinese” food in the U.S. As Bronson went on about his vision of homemade taquitos, I sat back and watched the gears in his head spin.
He fixated on the idea of a breakfast taquito for dinner (I suppose I should be calling these ‘brinner’ taquitos), so we gathered corn tortillas, eggs, jalapenos, a red pepper, an onion and dairy-free pepper jack “cheese”. Have I mentioned that Bronson “caught” lactose intolerance from me? It’s probably just because I don’t keep dairy around, so he kept consuming less and less of it until he reached the tipping point, but Bronson is lactose intolerant now. And I have way too much fun rubbing it in his face.
We chopped the peppers and onion and sautéed them in a large frying pan. When they were soft, I whipped some eggs in a bowl with a few drops of hot sauce, salt n’ pepper, chili powder and smoked paprika. I poured them into the pan to scramble and when the eggs were almost fully cooked (only a wee bit runny), we turned the heat off and sprinkled some of the “cheese” into the mixture with more spices. Once it melted, we transferred the mix to a large bowl and wiped out the frying pan.
We turned the heat back on and warmed the tortillas in the pan, just until they started to bubble (the heat causes the tortillas to split in the center and puff up). Heating them to this point makes the tortillas pliable so that they won’t rip as they’re rolled.
To assemble the taquitos, Bronson placed a spoonful of the egg mix into the center of a warm tortilla. Then, he folded one side of the tortilla over and rolled it up. Check out the handy-dandy video below to see the process of assembling! After rolling a taquito, Bronson placed it in a baking dish while he finished the rest. Once all taquitos were rolled and ready, he placed the baking dish into the freezer for 15 minutes; this helps seal the tortillas so that they won’t unroll in the hot oil.
We poured a hefty amount of canola oil into the bottom of a deep frying pan and turned up the heat. When the oil popped after I flicked water at it, I gently placed the taquitos in an even layer to fry. After 5 minutes on one side, I flipped them to get the other side. When all sides of a taquito were golden and lovely, I placed it on a paper towel-lined plate.
Here’s the hardest part about making these taquitos – waiting for them to cool. It’ll take a while, considering that they’ve been sitting in boiling hot oil for 10 minutes. We usually make it to 5 minutes of waiting before we dig in, but I recommend closer to 10 minutes before you take a bite, so that you can actually taste them instead of incinerating your mouth – as we all know I’m prone to do……
The best thing about these taquitos is that they’re easy! They may not look like it, as I lay out every detail in this post, but once you get a feel for rolling the tortillas, it’s so simple. We’ve got this entire process of prepping and frying down to about 45 minutes.
These breakfast taquitos were hot, fresh and delicious! Inside the crispy tortillas, the eggs were light and fluffy and had great depth from the hot sauce and spices. The peppers and onion added vibrant colors and texture, which gave the taquitos that super fresh taste. The vegan pepper jack “cheese” didn’t add a distinct flavor, but it added some richness that made the taquitos very filling.
There was so much going on in these taquitos that I got full after 2, but I pushed through to 3….and 4…. and ended up in such a delicious discomfort that I was couch-locked for the rest of the night, but it was worth it.
Recipe for Breakfast Taquitos:
This recipe yields a lot, because we like to freeze some of the taquitos so that we have them ready to fry up later! I would highly recommend frying some up on a Sunday morning and having a fresh, leisurely brunch.
16 corn tortillas (white or yellow, we’ve used both and haven’t found a difference)
1 jalapeno, small diced
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1 small yellow onion, small diced
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/4 C. dairy-free pepper jack “cheese”
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika (regular paprika will work just fine)
1/3-1/2 bottle of canola oil (or other frying oil)
Saute’ the peppers and onion in a large frying pan. Whip the eggs and add the hot sauce and spices. When the peppers and onion are soft, add the eggs to the pan and scramble. When the eggs are almost fully cooked, remove the pan from the stove and add the “cheese” and a little more of the spices. Mix until the cheese is melted and eggs are fully cooked. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Wipe the frying pan with a towel and place it back over the heat. Warm the tortillas on each side until they are warm and start to puff up. Place a spoonful of the egg mixture in the center of a tortilla and roll. Place in a baking dish. When all taquitos are rolled, place the baking dish in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Pour the oil into a deep pan and when the oil is hot, remove the taquitos from the freezer and place them in an even layer in the oil. Fry for 5+ minutes on each side. When the taquitos are crispy and golden-ish, place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Wait ~10 minutes to cool.
Top the taquitos with salsa and guacamole and eat your way into a food coma!
*Recipe Process Update 3/22/17 – Last night we tried baking these taquitos and it totally worked! We brushed a large baking tray with oil and rolled the taquitos to coat them all the way around. We baked them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping them once halfway through.
We liked them even better this way! They were still golden and crispy, without being so heavy and oily. We also decided to throw in a can of black beans for more color and texture!